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    I'm 24, and finding it impossibly difficult to find a college that will allow me to take my A Levels in September. I live in the West Midlands area, near Birmingham, but will likely have to consider going much further out to find a college that will allow me onto my desired course.

    I'm applying so late because I left school early with severe depression, therefore didn't sit my exams or gain any GCSEs whatsoever. I decided quite late to again pursue my original dream of studying medicine, so I've spent the last couple of years relearning my GCSEs and will finish my science exams (home study) in June. I obtained As in English/Maths last year and am putting in as much study time as possible to try make sure I get A*s in all of my sciences.

    I've contacted every college I can find in the local area and, on all occasions, have been turned away with a standard "this course is designed for 16-19 year olds" response. Of course, nobody has a valid answer when I ask what that means, exactly (if they bother to respond at all).

    Are there any other adult learners in the same boat? Does anyone know of any colleges that won't turn me away the moment they look at my date of birth? I'm hoping to sit Chemistry, Biology & Maths, if that makes any difference.

    I'd prefer to avoid home study for my A Levels, since unlike my GCSEs it will be entirely new content (not just remembering things I learned many years ago) and practicals/exams are likely to be more costly than I can manage.
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    Bournville college, which appears to be 10miles outside Birmingham. I havent looked at the other colleges, you can research those. Cost appears to be £724, think thats per A level but not sure as it could be pa. They cater for adult learners. They do all three of the subjects you want.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Bournville college, which appears to be 10miles outside Birmingham. I havent looked at the other colleges, you can research those. Cost appears to be £724, think thats per A level but not sure as it could be pa. They cater for adult learners. They do all three of the subjects you want.
    Thanks for replying so quickly.

    I submitted an application to Bournville College on 24/01. In the fields where they asked me to, I explained my situation and my goals for the future. They gave me a link to track my application, which I used about a week later and saw that it was still processing.

    I logged in today to check the progress of my application and there's no sign of it. It's just completely vanished, as though I never applied. They haven't contacted me to advise of rejection at all.

    Despite the fact that they list prices for adult learners on their A Level pages, it doesn't seem they're going to allow it either.

    There could be a good reason for the disappearance of my application I guess, and I do intend to call them about it when I get chance (I'm working full time at the moment to save enough money to support myself through college) to ask in a more direct way.

    I think my own research has pretty much covered every college in the Birmingham area. I've applied to Birmingham Met, who also don't specify an age restriction on their A Level pages, and received the above standard response. The rest of them just straight up say 16-19 year olds only.

    It was my vanishing application to Bournville that drove me to create this thread, actually. My faith that I'll be able to do what I want to do has been shaken a fair bit by so much rejection. It won't stop me from trying, even if I have to resort to home learning, but I wanted to see if anyone here could help first (thanks again for replying).
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    (Original post by Chewables)
    Thanks for replying so quickly.

    I submitted an application to Bournville College on 24/01. In the fields where they asked me to, I explained my situation and my goals for the future. They gave me a link to track my application, which I used about a week later and saw that it was still processing.

    I logged in today to check the progress of my application and there's no sign of it. It's just completely vanished, as though I never applied. They haven't contacted me to advise of rejection at all.

    Despite the fact that they list prices for adult learners on their A Level pages, it doesn't seem they're going to allow it either.

    There could be a good reason for the disappearance of my application I guess, and I do intend to call them about it when I get chance (I'm working full time at the moment to save enough money to support myself through college) to ask in a more direct way.

    I think my own research has pretty much covered every college in the Birmingham area. I've applied to Birmingham Met, who also don't specify an age restriction on their A Level pages, and received the above standard response. The rest of them just straight up say 16-19 year olds only.

    It was my vanishing application to Bournville that drove me to create this thread, actually. My faith that I'll be able to do what I want to do has been shaken a fair bit by so much rejection. It won't stop me from trying, even if I have to resort to home learning, but I wanted to see if anyone here could help first (thanks again for replying).

    Honestly you need to calm down and approach things methodically. If your application seems to have vanished then the people to give you the answer is the college. No need to panic. Talking to a named person who you can refer back to is going to get you the most progress. The enrolment isnt till September anyway, so just ring them during your lunch hour next week.

    You can also contact the exam boards to find out the exam centres and work backwards to see if any of them are colleges.

    You can also contact national careers or whoever Birmingham careers service is and they might have a handle on who offers A levels for adults.
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    (Original post by Chewables)
    I'm 24, and finding it impossibly difficult to find a college that will allow me to take my A Levels in September. I live in the West Midlands area, near Birmingham, but will likely have to consider going much further out to find a college that will allow me onto my desired course.

    I'm applying so late because I left school early with severe depression, therefore didn't sit my exams or gain any GCSEs whatsoever. I decided quite late to again pursue my original dream of studying medicine, so I've spent the last couple of years relearning my GCSEs and will finish my science exams (home study) in June. I obtained As in English/Maths last year and am putting in as much study time as possible to try make sure I get A*s in all of my sciences.

    I've contacted every college I can find in the local area and, on all occasions, have been turned away with a standard "this course is designed for 16-19 year olds" response. Of course, nobody has a valid answer when I ask what that means, exactly (if they bother to respond at all).

    Are there any other adult learners in the same boat? Does anyone know of any colleges that won't turn me away the moment they look at my date of birth? I'm hoping to sit Chemistry, Biology & Maths, if that makes any difference.

    I'd prefer to avoid home study for my A Levels, since unlike my GCSEs it will be entirely new content (not just remembering things I learned many years ago) and practicals/exams are likely to be more costly than I can manage.
    Call them directly to clarify what happened with your application, you'll most likely have to home study (sorry) consider private tuition of sorts, or attend free university lectures. How much time do you have? You're taking rigorous subjects so you'll likely need a teacher but don't get into the habit of ruling yourself out because you can't find a college, there are other ways to learn.
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    or consider a nc followed by an access course. there are other ways into higher education. i got onto an hnc with no qualifications.
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    If you go on the websites of colleges you can get to, look for Access to Medicine course. If you already have ideas for where you want to study at uni, go on the websites and find out what grades they want for access course. They will say Distinctions in xx credits and Merits in xx credits. Access course is 60 credits but some are pass/fail. The access course I did last year had 15 credits at pass/fail of which 6 were for study skills, 9 were the first unit in each of the 3 subjects.

    The reason it's so hard to find college that does A levels for adults is the access course which is for students 19 or older.


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    I'm 25 and starting A-levels at GlosCol in September, who have a couple of campuses in Gloucestershire which isn't a million miles away. I know there are colleges in Bristol that take mature A-level students too, but that's as far as my knowledge goes in this area of the country.

    I actually thought BMet took mature A-level students too, I remember seeing a page on their website offering it a while back when I was looking for somewhere to study.
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    just do them privately honestly at 24 you will be much more disciplined and able to study yourself. much cheaper and this way you can truly work and do all the mark schemes and past papers. dont be sucked in by the expensive courses. motivation and discipline is all you need.
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    There are definitely colleges in Nottingham that can support you to do your A Levels. New College Nottingham being one of them.
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    Hopefully the OP has gotten on the phone today and talked to someone who can clarify her situation.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Hopefully the OP has gotten on the phone today and talked to someone who can clarify her situation.
    Hey! I did, and you were absolutely right; I overreacted yesterday, big time.

    I managed to speak to someone and have been told I'm actually invited for an interview on Wednesday after work.

    Thanks for your posts, the second one in particular really helped me sit down and have a word with myself about not worrying so much.

    Thanks to everyone else who posted as well, offering sound advice & alternatives. I'm not losing hope any more!
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    I know the Birmingham area well, and can empathise with the difficulty in finding A levels for adults! I went through the same debate this time last year.

    Given the problems finding somewhere to study, the cost of A levels, the need for plenty of work experience and me not getting any younger, I opted for an Access course instead. I know that Medicine is competitive (as is Vet Med, which is my course of choice), but if you look up the entry requirements for the different universities you may be surprised at how open some of them can be to Access courses. May be worth a look if you find the A level route problematic (plus they're quicker!)
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    (Original post by seize_the_day)
    I know the Birmingham area well, and can empathise with the difficulty in finding A levels for adults! I went through the same debate this time last year.

    Given the problems finding somewhere to study, the cost of A levels, the need for plenty of work experience and me not getting any younger, I opted for an Access course instead. I know that Medicine is competitive (as is Vet Med, which is my course of choice), but if you look up the entry requirements for the different universities you may be surprised at how open some of them can be to Access courses. May be worth a look if you find the A level route problematic (plus they're quicker!)
    That makes sense! I think my main problem with Access to Medicine courses is that nowhere local seems to offer one - most likely because UoB doesn't accept them.

    There are quite a lot of unis that do accept them, but honestly travelling to a college that does an Access course would be nuts. I have the option of doing my A Levels now at least, and I won't have to pay for it directly thanks to Advanced Learner Loans. Gaining work experience shouldn't be difficult for me either (I currently work in the NHS and have regular contact with doctors & nurses I could shadow).

    It's something I'll definitely keep in mind should A Levels not work out for whatever reason!
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    (Original post by Chewables)
    That makes sense! I think my main problem with Access to Medicine courses is that nowhere local seems to offer one - most likely because UoB doesn't accept them.

    There are quite a lot of unis that do accept them, but honestly travelling to a college that does an Access course would be nuts. I have the option of doing my A Levels now at least, and I won't have to pay for it directly thanks to Advanced Learner Loans. Gaining work experience shouldn't be difficult for me either (I currently work in the NHS and have regular contact with doctors & nurses I could shadow).

    It's something I'll definitely keep in mind should A Levels not work out for whatever reason!
    That's fair enough. Vet Med allows entry with an Access to Science which makes it a little easier... I actually did mine through distance learning, which allowed me to start in Feb and be undergoing moderation before the uni interviews in Nov

    Best of luck with your venture! There's always a way!
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    (Original post by Chewables)
    I managed to speak to someone and have been told I'm actually invited for an interview on Wednesday after work.
    Good luck with your interview! :hugs:

    I clicked on this thread because it immediately reminded me of my experience last summer: I applied to twelve courses and was consistently turned away. The one that offered me an interview and was willing to discuss the situation and my options gave me a place the same day. They were very vocal about the fact I'd be on a course with 17-18yos (like you, I'm 24) and I told them I didn't mind. I made friends regardless.
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    (Original post by seize_the_day)
    That's fair enough. Vet Med allows entry with an Access to Science which makes it a little easier... I actually did mine through distance learning, which allowed me to start in Feb and be undergoing moderation before the uni interviews in Nov

    Best of luck with your venture! There's always a way!
    Thank you! Good luck to you, too

    (Original post by sinfonietta)
    Good luck with your interview! :hugs:

    I clicked on this thread because it immediately reminded me of my experience last summer: I applied to twelve courses and was consistently turned away. The one that offered me an interview and was willing to discuss the situation and my options gave me a place the same day. They were very vocal about the fact I'd be on a course with 17-18yos (like you, I'm 24) and I told them I didn't mind. I made friends regardless.
    Thank you!

    I'm fairly confident about the interview, mainly because I've already aced so many job interviews in the past! I'm just excited to get back on the right path when it comes to my studies, honestly. It feels really good to have things going right again after they went so wrong in my teenage years
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    it does distract trying to learn in a class of mobile addicts the age does not matter.
 
 
 
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